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WebAssembly in Action: why WebAssembly when we have JavaScript?

 
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Dear Author,

Javascript is 25 years old. Why is the need for web assembly when we have JavaScript + related frameworks which has worked so well fo many years. What is impact of web assembly on Javascript developers, how do they reskill themselves ? Thanks a lot !
 
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Thank you for your questions!

JavaScript is a good language. It’s difficult to tell what technology is going to be like in 5 years so I can’t say that JavaScript will never be replaced by something eventually but WebAssembly is not aiming to replace it.

The aim of WebAssembly was to take what worked with asm.js (a compiler target for other languages, fast code execution for heavy computations, and sandboxed for example) and try to fix what didn’t. An example of an issue with asm.js is that they didn’t want to modify the JavaScript language itself to add more features.

For JavaScript developers, I see WebAssembly as a potential way to help with the parts of their code that may have high computations or processing where they may want to try and improve performance. I could see JavaScript libraries doing the same thing where they could use WebAssembly modules in the background to improve performance but the library itself continues to work the same as it always has.

For JavaScript developers, AssemblyScript compiles TypeScript to WebAssembly so that would probably be a good starting point rather than having to learn another language. https://github.com/AssemblyScript/assemblyscript
 
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